I've just finished one of the books: Robert Jensen's
As the subtitle of his book hints at, Jensen sees dissent against the empire-building policies of the US as a moral imperative, particularly so for US citizens. Jensen, as a dissident against the current administration (and not a big fan of former Democratic administrations, either), urges citizens to publicly confront at every opportunity the ideology of the American empire. He sees in our political discourse three main features of that ideology that work to prevent real discussion and real change of imperial policies: 1) The unchallenged assertion from both the Left and the Right that American is the 'greatest nation on earth'; 2) The call to 'support our troops' regardless of one's political views; and 3) Patriotism. The first of two of these items, I agree, are huge obstacles to change in foreign and domestic policy, and they need to be undercut. I disagree with Jensen, though, that patriotism itself needs to be renounced. I think there is a good patriotism that can be harnessed to drive a progressive political movement, as I've said in previous posts.